How to Learn from Your Competition

How to Learn from Your Competition

There are so many upsides to there being more creatives out there, because in general, the creative world is still a little backwards. As artists, we’re often not taken seriously, and our value is only apparent if we’re famous or dead, it seems, so the more successful creative businesses there are, the better we do as a whole. However, there is a downside to welcoming new businesses - and that’s competition.

Competition sounds scary to a lot of people - and I hear this often in my Coaching Sessions. “There’s so much competition,” “They always go with someone cheaper,” “This other photographer keeps stealing my clients”, but the truth is that competition can be so much more than that!

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Tuscan Countryside Wedding Bliss | Zibby + JT

Tuscan Countryside Wedding Bliss | Zibby + JT

Where to even start with this one? I truly feel like part of the family with Zibby + JT, after working with them for over two years now. This was my first invitation suite for an international destination wedding, and it was in Tuscany, which is my home abroad. I lived in Florence for several months and haven’t gotten the olive oil out of my system since, so painting a mini Duomo and Ponte Vecchio for this couple was one of my favorite moments of Design by Laney. More Italian weddings, per favore!

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Why a Seating Chart is Helpful on Your Wedding Day

Why a Seating Chart is Helpful on Your Wedding Day

Seating charts, escort cards, place cards, all the different terminology can get really confusing! Sometimes it feels like you’d be better off just doing an open seating wedding - what can go wrong, right? We’re all family here! Well…in fact, a lot of things can go wrong! The politics of wedding seating have become the typical gag in movies and sitcoms everywhere, but for good reason - those relationships are always complicated. Having a seating chart can help you navigate the icy waters between Aunt Cindy and Cousin John, and well…..it can help you in a lot of other ways too….

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Why I Chose Squarespace for my First Website

Why I Chose Squarespace for my First Website

Creating your first website is one of the most daunting tasks for new business owners, and I was no exception. I had it on my to-do list for months before I even started to work on it. Once I decided to leave my “day job” and take Design by Laney full time, I knew that the website was the first big task to conquer, so I finally got to work! No matter how annoying and difficult the website process can be, the only part I regret is not starting it sooner - so if you’re hesitating for any reason whatsoever, let me be the one to tell you to stop hesitating, and just do it!

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Oceanside Modern Wedding | Desiree + Michael

Oceanside Modern Wedding | Desiree + Michael

Another real wedding to share today, and this one has a special place in my heart! Desiree and Michael just exude kindness and positivity in every single interaction I have with them - both of them would separately wish me well if I posted about being sick on Instagram, for instance (yep, even the groom!!!). You just know two beautiful souls like that are in for a wonderful, happy marriage together! The fact that it also happened to be a Pinterest dream is just an added bonus! All of these phenomenal photos are courtesy of the amazing Jenna Joseph (and you can read more of D + M's love story on her blog). 

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10 of the Worst Habits of a Small Business Owner

10 of the Worst Habits of a Small Business Owner

Biting our nails, chewing loudly, talking too much - we’ve all got bad habits. We hope they don’t negatively affect our lives, and for the most part, habits are forgivable, but when it comes to your business, there are plenty of bad habits that might be keeping you down! With over 50% of businesses not making it to their 5th year, we want to avoid any of those negative tendencies we can. So check yourself before you wreck yourself…okay, maybe we’re too old to say that, but you get the picture - here are our 10 Worst Habits for a Small Business Owner!

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Becoming an Introvert

Becoming an Introvert

Today’s my 28th Birthday, and It’s been almost 7 years since I graduated from college, a bubbly, outgoing 21-year-old with dreams of a husband and babies and not really a whole lot else. Like most of us do, I’ve changed, and in some surprising ways. 6 1/2 of those 7 years have been spent working from home. I started at AT&T, where I worked out of my home office and telecommuted in for meetings. At max, there were a few months where I was going into the office 2-3 times per week.

Then I quit to start my own company and moved across the country. Here, I purposely chose not to root Design by Laney in the local wedding industry, anticipating our second move, which is now happening in a few months. In Denver…who knows how things will shake out?

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"It's Just a Piece of Paper"

"It's Just a Piece of Paper"

“It’s just a piece of paper.”

“It’ll just get thrown in the trash.”

“Why would I pay that much for a few pieces of paper?”

How many times have we all heard these things? Heck, I used to find myself thinking these things when I first started out - “Wow, that quote is high...do I really think they’ll pay that for invitations?” Well, as my business and countless others have proved, the answer is yes. Very, very yes! But only if you truly understand the value you’re bringing to the table.

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Brunch Wedding Inspiration | The O'Henry Hotel

Brunch Wedding Inspiration | The O'Henry Hotel

Usually combining two of your favorite things leads to something even better - that’s exactly what happened with this shoot. When Carly of Carly Marie Events called to say she had a Brunch Wedding idea for a shoot, I knew I couldn’t pass it up. I actually planned a brunch wedding back when I was still a wedding planner, so I loved this idea. Mimosa bars, shrimp and grits, beautiful morning light - all of the best things in the same event!

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5 Reasons to Get Married Outside the US

5 Reasons to Get Married Outside the US

It’s no secret that we’re traveling way more than out parents ever did - over 60% of millennial families say they’ve been on an international trip in the last year. The same trend rings true in the wedding industry, with many sources showing that international destination weddings are on the rise. Destination wedding are all great, but we have a particular love for international weddings outside of the US - if you’re considering hosting an international wedding, we say get those passports ready! Here’s everything we love about weddings outside of the United States…

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The Worst Marketing Pitch that I Hear All The Time

The Worst Marketing Pitch that I Hear All The Time

I get pitch emails from new companies ALL. THE. TIME. Typically it’s a new wedding marketplace, blog, or resource of some sort that someone is starting, to help “change the wedding industry for good”. Or something like that. I see it all over the place from other wedding vendors too, though, and it’s capital-T The. Worst. Here’s an example I received today, word for word:

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Wax Seals | Everything you Need to Know about Invitation Seals

Wax Seals | Everything you Need to Know about Invitation Seals

Wax seals are basically icing on top of a gorgeous wedding invitation cake. I mean, if that icing is shiny and perfect, and somehow modern chic and organic vintage all at the same time. They’re our most requested Suite upgrade, by far,, and the piece that every one of my Holiday Card recipients gushes over (so that’s gotta mean something, right?). Today, we’ll walk you through the world of wax seals, how to create them, where to find them, and how to make the most of them on your stationery.

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All About Wraps | Bows, Belly Bands, Seals, oh my!

All About Wraps | Bows, Belly Bands, Seals, oh my!

We’re concluding our All About series by chatting about the piece that ties everything together - literally. One upgrade that we love to finish off a wedding invitation suite is some type of wrap. This helps add that finishing touch that makes your guests feel like they're opening a present (because they are!). There are so many options here, we’ll structure the post a little differently and talk about the most common ones. Read on to find out the best wrap for you!

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All About Envelope Liners

All About Envelope Liners

Happy New Year everyone! Have you enjoyed seeing all the baby announcements and engagements on your news feed this week? I have been SO EXCITED - this year is all about the babies for my friends and colleagues it seems, and what a fun time that is! If you’re part of that newly-engaged crew, then we hope you check out the entire All About Series starting with All About Wedding Invites. These will tell you all you need to know about each piece of a wedding invitation suite, and today we’re going to chat about a favorite upgrade of mine - envelope liners.

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Modern Wedding Giveaway

We’ve got a treat for you today to briefly interrupt the All About Series - don’t worry, it’ll resume tomorrow with All About Envelope Liners! Today, though, it’s giveaway time!!!

Artisan Books sent me a copy of their new book, Modern Wedding: Creating a Celebration That Looks + Feels Like You by Kelsey McKinnon, and they sent me one to give away to you all as well!

modern wedding planner

Did any of you know that I started out in wedding planning before stationery? I thought that was what I wanted to do with my life, but once I started doing stationery I had to make a choice. Running 2 separate businesses was not good for my mental health or my schedule! Now that it’s not for money, I absolutely love chatting wedding planning tips + tricks whenever I can, so this book was a breath of fresh air.

Of course, I turned to the stationery section first thing - and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was section Number 1!!! Starting with creating your guest list, Modern Wedding has tons of the same tips and tricks I offer to my clients every day.

The photos are incredible, from some of my favorite designers, including Stephanie Fishwick, Kaela Rawson, and Happy Menocal on the stationery side. The other vendors included are all A-list, from Mindy Rice to Bloom and Plume, and so many talented people in this industry - seriously, if you want to be inspired by anyone, this is the collection of artists to choose.

…and my favorite part of the entire book? It doesn’t mention pricing AT ALL. There's not one number, percentage, dollar amount that I could find. Because the emphasis here isn’t on your budget or how much you’re spending. The emphasis is on creating a wedding that feels like you. If you haven’t checked out our Home Page recently, that same sentiment is all over it, because that’s what matters to us too!

Other highlights for me included the Color Story section (this yellow inspiration, of course!), this handy description of traditional cultural wedding customs, and this stunning dress! This would be an amazing gift for your recently-engaged friends, and you get a cake knife and server set as well in the giveaway.

Alright, so how do you win?

If you came here it’s probably because you already saw our post on Instagram about winning your copy! You can get an additional entry if you comment below, and tell us what you’re most excited about for planning your wedding (or helping your friend plan theirs).

From setting your timeline to tasting your cake, be prepared for it all! One (1) winner receives:

 Giveaway open to US addresses only.

Prizing and samples provided by Artisan Books.

From the Publisher: “The book unpacks every element of a wedding—stationery, attire, seating plans, flowers and tablescapes, food and drink, gifts—with examples that will appeal to couples who care about how things are made but are not overly influenced by trends. The emphasis is on natural surroundings, seasonal flowers and food, modern dresses, minimalist ceremony structures, and naked cakes. Photographs of real weddings—“case studies” like a destination fete in Tuscany, a house party in Brooklyn, and a New Agey revel in Kauai—show how all the pieces can come together into a unique and expressive whole. Extensive practical information and resources give readers access to all the help they need for their own unique celebration.”